New pottery store proud of its Sudbury roots

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Grassroots Co. will celebrate its grand opening in early October

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Three local entrepreneurs prepare to take the cannabis industry by storm as they prepare for the official launch of their in-house pot shot in early October.

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Chad O’Reilly, Kosta Janicijevic and Bob Lamoureux founded Grassroots Co. three years ago with the goal of becoming the best cannabis retail store in Sudbury.

Although the navigation through the start of Ontario’s cannabis lottery system and the COVID-19 pandemic was bumpy, owners are eagerly putting the finishing touches on their rustic and earthy storefront that showcases their pride of the country. local community.

The owners said that the retail store’s most important asset is its “dedicated and experienced staff who will provide each customer with a unique and informative experience.”

“Our dream is to be a different kind of cannabis store,” Lamoureux said.

“We are proud to be part of this community and wanted to reflect that in our store and in our interactions with customers. “

Business partners Chad O'Reilly, left, Kosta Janicijevic and Bob Lamoureux are busy preparing for the grand opening of Grassroots Co. in Sudbury, Ont.  John Lappa / Sudbury Star / Postmedia Network
Business partners Chad O’Reilly, left, Kosta Janicijevic and Bob Lamoureux are busy preparing for the grand opening of Grassroots Co. in Sudbury, Ontario. John Lappa / Sudbury Star / Postmedia Network Photo by John Lappa /John Lappa / Sudbury Star

Grassroots Co.’s story begins years before the Canadian government legalized cannabis in October 2018.

O’Reilly, who has a background in retail, initially brought up the idea of ​​a cannabis store when chatting with Janicijevic over eight years ago about a hunch.

“It was Chad’s original idea – he approached me and told me he thought that one day cannabis would be legal in Canada. Of course, I didn’t believe him, ”said Janicijevic, who has medical training.

“But Chad had the foresight to pursue that dream. When the Liberal government came to power and completely legalized it, Chad contacted me again and we launched a feasibility study to see if our chances were good.

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O’Reilly and Janicijevic then approached Lamoureux, the former owner of the Falcon Limited hotel in Garson, with a business opportunity.

“Bob has a long history and is a staple in the business community here in Sudbury. We wanted his advice and support, and he joined us. That’s how it all started, ”Janicijevic said.

Lamoureux said he was more than happy to offer his support and business expertise.

“These two boys, it was their dream. I came on the scene afterwards and we started Grassroots together, ”said Lamoureux.

Before their dream could come true, they had a number of obstacles to overcome.

This includes Ontario’s cannabis retail lottery system which has attracted much criticism from hopefuls looking to break into the industry.

“It was disappointing. When we first applied it was on a merit based system and then I think a week before the application itself opened they changed it to the lottery system ”Janicijevic said.

In December 2018, the Ontario government gave the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario a mandate to hold a lottery to determine who could apply for a retail operator’s license.

The first lottery, which took place in January 2019, had a temporary cap of 25 retail store authorizations – only two of those authorizations were issued in Northern Ontario.

“With this lottery system, the chances of getting a license were very low. It was very disheartening, but we lived it. We persevered and we succeeded, ”said Janicijevic.

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“Strangely enough, we got second place in North Bay in the second lottery. We were very close. “

Although Ontario eventually switched to open-market licensing, Grassroots Co. ran into another problem: the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Opening a business is difficult even under normal circumstances, but with the COVID-19 pandemic it has definitely been a challenge,” Janicijevic said.

“Everything is really backed up right now, so it’s caused some delays, but we’re hoping that will be fixed soon.”

Despite these challenges, Grassroots Co. received all the necessary licenses and the retail store opened with a soft launch a few weeks ago to resolve any technical issues in their system.

So far, the community has been very receptive, Lamoureux said.

The store is hoping to hold its grand opening sometime before Thanksgiving if all goes as planned.

“Our greatest asset is our people – we went through an intense selection process to find the best people possible,” said Lamoureux.

“They are all product experts and they surprise us every day. Our Managing Director, David Jones, has already opened four cannabis stores, so he has a lot of expertise. We know what to buy, what not to buy, and we will have a lot of choice for our customers.

The retail store will sell all regular prices, including the cannabis flower and other products like edibles and drinks, but it will focus on delivering the highest quality products.

There will also be a small gift shop in the store that sells designer accessories and clothing.

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Grassroots Co.’s goal is to grow the business locally, and is targeting Garson as a secondary location.

“You see a lot of other cannabis retail stores opening up all over Northern Ontario, but we want to stay in Sudbury,” Lamoureux said.

“We want to be the primary supplier of cannabis to Sudbury. “

Grassroots Co. is located at 113, boul. and it’s open for in-store pickup. Visit www.grassrootsco.ca for online orders, weekly staff picks and new product launches.

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.

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Twitter: @SudburyStar

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